Reconnoitring a red system

7th July 2013 – 3.42 pm

I'm back for more mayhem and explosions. What are the odds that I can achieve that, though? The neighbouring class 3 w-space system is occupied by a five-capsuleer corporation and had no other connections but its exit to low-sec, and the wormhole in the low-sec system had a single connection to more class 3 w-space in which I destroyed a cruiser earlier. Unless something has changed, maybe I am returning to a stale constellation. I won't know until I check.

Jumping to C3a has my directional scanner appearing as blank as before, and warping to the tower finds as much change as a blanket scan of the system, which is none. Exiting to low-sec has no new signatures spawned, and C3b has a similar number of ships as before, but now the bare tower is not so bare and the third tower is gone, much as suspected. I hope the view one planet across is worth all the effort. But that's about it for changes.

Nothing is happening, and I'm not about to force anything to happen. At least, not beyond collapsing our wormhole to get a fresh connection to a different system. I head home, get the big ships moving, and ponder my navel as I wait for polarisation effects to dissipate. The process seems to take longer than usual tonight, I can't say why, but at least it goes smoothly. The wormhole dies on schedule, with me in the home system, and no one trying to stop me getting back to the tower. I'd call that a success.

Ok, next wormhole, please. And the replacement C3a is dreary, with a tower and Orca industrial command ship visible on d-scan from our K162. Having notes from eight months ago, and considering the Orca to be unpiloted, I warp to the edge of the system, launch probes, and perform a blanket scan. Warping to where my notes say the tower is finds the Orca empty as expected, leaving me sifting through the twelve anomalies and nine signatures. Rocks, gas, rocks, whatever. The usual. And just the static exit to low-sec again.

Leaving w-space puts me in Access in the Genesis region, a few hops from New Eden itself. I've been before, though, and don't feel a need to make the pilgrimage today. I stick with my standard operating procedure in a system devoid of other pilots, and rat and scan. My probes reveal three additional signatures, resolved to be a magnetometric site, radar site, and wormhole, as bouncing around the rock fields finds a couple of cruisers for target practice.

The wormhole in low-sec is a K162 from class 3 w-space, and almost probably not the one I came through this time. I jump through to make sure. A salvage drone is on d-scan, which is new, but there are no ships and no wrecks, so I think the critter's just been abandoned. Poor fella. But I don't actually care about him, and ignore him the instant the results come back from a blanket scan. In the system are eight anomalies, sixteen signatures, and a tower in the same place as nine months ago, but no activity.

Looking for wormholes in C3b finds one, and just one, but it's a potentially nifty K162 from class 2 w-space. Jumping through even has ships appear on d-scan, with an Orca, Iteron hauler, Harbinger battlecruiser, Naga battlecruiser, Armageddon battleship, and Arazu recon ship. But despite more salvage drones visible there are still no wrecks to be seen, and seven towers and their associated hangars are hard to ignore. Maybe I should find them.

Reds! How almost exciting. Finding one tower has the Naga and Arazu piloted by capsuleers hostile to our corporation. Still, with a not-blue-shoot-it policy, which is occasionally violated for certain blues, red is just another shade of not-blue, but I suppose it adds a certain tension to exploration. Four more towers are empty of ships, and I leave them unvisited, leaving a tower holding the Orca and Harbinger, another holding the Armageddon, and the last the Iteron, all ships piloted. All piloted, but none active.

At least locating the towers has taken long enough for two more ships to appear. The Helios covert operations boat isn't terribly interesting, but the Badger hauler may be on-line to collect planet goo. If only I knew which tower it was at, with all seven split across three planets, I could try to stalk it. I warp to one tower but the Badger has moved, warp to the inner system to see if it's at a customs office but can't find it, and return to poke around the towers to still not catch a sight of it. Whatever it is, or was, it may as well be a d-scan glitch.

I think I'm going home. There are too many towers and ships spread amongst them for me to keep track of movements of any individual one, and should they all mobilise I wouldn't stand a chance of engaging them by myself. I get as far as the wormhole before a final check of d-scan sees two new haulers, both Bestowers, but despite yo-yoing back to see if they want to collect goo I am either watching one Bestower do nothing or experiencing the same frustration as I did with the Badger. I was right to turn my ship around in the first place. I'd like to close the evening by popping a planet gooer, but it's not going to happen.

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